Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 High End Gaming Case
Summary & Final Thoughts
Evaluation Summary: Zalman definitely created a special case with the Z-Machine GT1000, and we wouldn't argue with the company's assertion that it is a high end enclosure, whether it's for gaming or any other use. The heavy duty aluminum creates the impression that this is one of the highest quality cases on the market, and from what we've seen, it definitely is.
While the GT1000 is a great case, it is not perfect, of course. The biggest gripe we (and probably everyone else) have about the case is its price. Currently, it sells for around $380. We remember paying about $200 for our first aluminum case around six years ago, and at that time, we know not many people would have paid even that much for a case. So now we have to ask ourselves if we'd pay quite a bit more for one today. Unfortunately, the question isn't easy to answer, and we have mixed feelings about it. Our first thought is that the case would appeal to a wider audience if it was more affordable, and of course Zalman would sell more of them. Then again, the higher quality, thicker aluminum obviously costs more, and dropping the price may not be practical for Zalman. We're not sure, but we do know this case is special. If we were building a high end gaming case full of really expensive components, then yes, we could see ourselves paying this price since we are fans of the high quality aluminum and construction. Plus, a case can be used for many years, and this is one we'd probably hold on to for quite a while.
In addition to the price, we noted a couple of other issues with the GT1000. For one, we don't think the airflow from 92mm fans in the front have a clear enough path to maximize circulation through the case. Sure, air will get through, but we can't help but wonder if Zalman noticed this limitation. Furthermore, the 92mm fans weren't as quiet as we expected them to be, which may be due to the air hitting the drive cage first, causing turbulance. It's worth noting that this could be remedied by the included ZM-MC1. Another issue we have with the GT1000 is the lack of an internal speaker, which are often helpful for troubleshooting motherboard problems (beep codes), when a motherboard doesn't have an on-board buzzer.
Despite the price and several other issues, we still find ourselves willing to recommend this case to anyone who is building a high end rig with a big budget. The quality and looks are undoubtedly first class. The tool-less installation features are innovative, convenient, and easy to use. The case seemed roomier than many others we've used. We've used other ATX cases that couldn't accomodate the Thermalright Ultra-120 or an 8800 GTX in them, but the GT1000 has no problems with either of these components. The GT1000 is a high quality and unique case that will give your friends fits of envy and that will be worthy of your flagship components for years. If you like a lot of what the GT1000 offers but don't think you need all of its features, watch out for Zalman's new GT900 coming soon.
|• Great looks
• High quality, thick aluminum
• Great tool-less installation features
• Includes ZM-MC1 to adjust fans
• 8800 GTX and Thermalright Ultra-120 fit inside
• Can hold six hard drives
|• No internal speaker!|
• 92mm fans not as quiet as expected